From PathfinderWiki
The cambion prostitute, Lavender Lil.

Prostitution or sex work is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment, barter, or some other benefit.1 Depending on the jurisdiction, prostitution is either legal or a crime, and either unregulated or organized by an institution.2 Those who practice prostitution as a profession are known as prostitutes, courtesans, whores,3 call girls,4 payrides, swing-doors,5 hookers, rent boys,6 hetaeras,7 or practitioners of the world's oldest profession.8 Although many prostitutes practice their trade of their own free will, other sex workers are forced slaves whose work only benefits their masters.9

On Golarion

Some form of prostitution can be found in nearly every city in the Inner Sea region, although it tends to be more commonly practiced in ports.101112 The Street of Sighs in Kaer Maga in particular is home to a large number of brothels.13


Rhodel, a human prostitute.

Some cities and nations in the Inner Sea region have laws criminalizing or regulating those who participate in the sex trade, either as sellers or buyers, although enforcement and punishment for breaking the law can vary greatly in severity. Other nations, cities, or other jurisdictions place no restrictions on sex workers.14 Some societies, especially those influenced by the goddess Calistria (see below), see sex work as an important and honorable profession,15 while others consider it a terrible moral vice.16 Absalom, for instance, categorizes it as a "soft crime", which means that officers of the law tend to tolerate it as long as no one complains.17


Slaves (which includes both those bought and sold under a formal, state-sanctioned form of slavery, as well as those who are captured and threatened with violence should they ever try to leave) are frequently forced to work in the sex trade by their captors. Examples of this include the cambions kept as "devil-whores" in the upper-class bondage club Dusk in the Nidalese port city of Nisroch.918

Nonhuman sex work

Due to their often otherworldly physical beauty, empyreans are much sought after in the sex trade.19 On the other side of the spectrum, cambions and others with infernal blood are often prostitutes as well. Half-succubi in particular often find themselves running brothels or working as prostitutes to satisfy their overwhelming lust.20 Being frequent devotees of Calistria, elves and aiuvarins are commonly found in her pleasure temples (see below),21 while many drow in the Darklands work as prostitutes too.22


Because those who work in the trade (including those who do not regularly perform sexual acts, such as brothel owners) often have intimate and unmonitored access to the wealthy and powerful, some have sidelines as spies and information brokers. The most famous of these are the Tallow Boys of the Varisian city of Kaer Maga.8 The Wasp Queens are an all-female, all-elf thieves' guild tied to the church of Calistria often found working in brothels to establish cover identities or gain information.23


Followers and priests of Calistria, Besmara, Gyronna, the Osirian goddess Bastet, and the empyreal lord Lymnieris sometimes practice prostitution as part of their devotion, often within their temples, and consider themselves sacred prostitutes.24625262728 Good worshipers in particular see the release of sexual needs as easing pressures that might otherwise lead to violence.29

Although it is said that no red-light district escapes Calistria's touch,30 churches that specialize in these services include the House of Stolen Kisses in the port city of Quent in the Shackles,31 the Pleasure Salon of Calistria in Absalom,21 the Dome of the Savored Sting in Magnimar,32 and the House of the Silken Veil in Riddleport.33 Followers of Calistria and Lymnieris are especially concerned that those who work in the trade do so of their own free will, and actively fight against sexual slavery and help care for its victims.34291525


  1. See Wikipedia: Prostitution
  2. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 39. Paizo Inc., 2011
  3. Dave Gross. Queen of Thorns, 393. Paizo Inc., 2012
  4. Greg A. Vaughan. Riddleport: City of Cyphers” in Shadow in the Sky, 53. Paizo Inc., 2008
  5. James L. Sutter. “The People” in City of Strangers, 40. Paizo Inc., 2010
  6. 6.0 6.1 Robert Brookes, et al. Besmara” in Inner Sea Faiths, 25. Paizo Inc., 2016
  7. Owen K.C. Stephens. “Places” in Guide to Absalom, 13. Paizo Inc., 2008
  8. 8.0 8.1 James L. Sutter. “The People” in City of Strangers, 47. Paizo Inc., 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 Tim Hitchcock. Nisroch” in Cities of Golarion, 40. Paizo Inc., 2009
  10. Tim Hitchcock & Jason Nelson. “Gazetteer” in Andoran, Birthplace of Freedom, 17. Paizo Inc., 2015
  11. Stephen S. Greer & Amber E. Scott. “Land of Adventure” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 9. Paizo Inc., 2009
  12. Adam Daigle & James Jacobs. “Magnimar” in Magnimar, City of Monuments, 20. Paizo Inc., 2012
  13. James L. Sutter. “The City” in City of Strangers, 22. Paizo Inc., 2010
  14. James Jacobs. Sandpoint” in Burnt Offerings, 70. Paizo Inc., 2007
  15. 15.0 15.1 Sean K Reynolds, et al. Inner Sea Gods, 32. Paizo Inc., 2014
  16. Colin McComb. Beyond the Vault of Souls, 9. Paizo Inc., 2009
  17. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 55. Paizo Inc., 2008
  18. Kevin Carter. “Ecology of the Thieves' Guild” in Mother of Flies, 59. Paizo Inc., 2010
  19. Amber E. Scott. “Blood of Angels” in Blood of Angels, 8. Paizo Inc., 2012
  20. James Jacobs. Demons Revisited, 54. Paizo Inc., 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 Owen K.C. Stephens. “Places” in Guide to Absalom, 15. Paizo Inc., 2008
  22. James Jacobs & Greg A. Vaughan. Sekamina” in Into the Darklands, 32. Paizo Inc., 2008
  23. Dennis Baker, et al. “Combat Schools” in Inner Sea Combat, 25. Paizo Inc., 2014
  24. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 219. Paizo Inc., 2011
  25. 25.0 25.1 Amber E. Scott. “Lords of the Empyrean” in Chronicle of the Righteous, 18. Paizo Inc., 2013
  26. Hal Maclean & Jeff Quick. Elves of Golarion” in Elves of Golarion, 15. Paizo Inc., 2008
  27. China Miéville, et al. Gyronna and Hanspur” in Guide to the River Kingdoms, 9. Paizo Inc., 2010
  28. Robert G. McCreary. “Gods of Ancient Osirion” in Empty Graves, 67. Paizo Inc., 2014
  29. 29.0 29.1 Sean K Reynolds. “Gods of Golarion” in Gods and Magic, 8–9. Paizo Inc., 2008
  30. James L. Sutter. “The People” in City of Strangers, 37. Paizo Inc., 2010
  31. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 133. Paizo Inc., 2008
  32. Adam Daigle & James Jacobs. “Magnimar” in Magnimar, City of Monuments, 23. Paizo Inc., 2012
  33. Greg A. Vaughan. Riddleport: City of Cyphers” in Shadow in the Sky, 50. Paizo Inc., 2008
  34. Colin McComb. “Faiths of Balance” in Faiths of Balance, 7. Paizo Inc., 2011